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How to manage business growth

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When your business has reached a certain size and it’s no longer practical for you as a business owner to be involved in every decision and transaction, how do you manage a smooth transition?

The transition of a business from small to medium-sized is a challenging time for business owners, as they go from being in control of every aspect to handing over responsibility to others.

So, how can you ensure you maintain the standards which have been central to the success of your business to date, while preparing it for the next stage of growth?

We have seen our own business within the M25 region expand from one office in Slough in the late ‘90s to seven locations within the M25, and empowering and trusting your co-workers are central to making the successful transition.  We’ve grown our fee-base from £2 million at the one office in Slough to £20 million across our seven offices.  We have brought good people into the team and have allocated responsibilities which are appropriate to their training and talents.

Ensuring you find key individuals is important, but you also need to invest time in bringing them on so they are working to the standards expected in your company. Eventually, this means that day-to-day you can refer work to people down the chain of command with confidence. This frees you up to work on taking the business forward.

Attitude is also an important management skill. It’s about finding solutions, not problems. We train and mentor our managers so they know what’s expected of them and they supply us with work that is the right standard.

We not only give our managers responsibilities, but the freedom to expect high standards from more junior people below them.  This means people working at every level of the business are focused on standards. You need to expect the best from people, not the worst. 

So why do some owner-managers fall into the micro-management trap? It can often be down to their own lack of confidence, Fear of a loss of control is often a big factor, but it can often happen where they are uncertain about a certain role. This can lead to inefficient work practices and work not being passed to others with confidence. Ironically, this is exactly what you should be doing. After all, it’s unlikely that you’re the right person to manage every role in the organisation.

Consider if you are missing an opportunity to put experts in key positions? We have one client who found their profits increased tenfold when they found a talented sales manager. That makes you look good too! Ongoing training is vital, so arm your people with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to perform well, so they can reward your trust.

Finally, it’s important not to forget how vital it is to put robust systems and processes in place and keep them up-to-date. You then need to put strong people in charge of those systems and test them regularly to ensure they remain effective.

Then you simply trust in your people and your systems.

Find and contact your local Haines Watts office

One response to “How to manage business growth”

  1. ICAEW Business Advice Service

    Thank you for sharing your interesting, personal experience – we have featured your article on our blog today. Many thanks


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